Utilizing the quick response (QR) code within a Japanese EFL environment


  issn 1832-4215
  Vol. 5, No. 2 Pages 15–28
  ©2009 jalt call sig

                                            Within Japan almost all mobile camera phones
 Utilizing the quick                        are equipped with two-dimensional barcode
                                            scanning technology as a standard feature.
 response (QR)                              Consequently, QR (Quick Response) codes are
                                            now widespread throughout Japan as a means
 code within a                              of product identification and advertising.
                                            Despite this, their implementation into public
 Japanese EFL                               and private educational settings has been rela-
                                            tively slow due to the traditional exclusion of
 environment                                the mobile phone from the language learning
                                            classroom. This paper describes an investiga-
                                            tory project which attempts to introduce three
                                            specific examples of basic QR code-driven ac-
Damian J. Rivers                            tivities into a Japanese university English as a
Kanda University of International Studies   Foreign Language (EFL) classroom. The paper
damian-r@kanda.kuis.ac.jp                   proposes that the merger of the mobile phone
                                            and the QR code be considered a productive
                                            way forward in achieving a semi-ubiquitous
                                            computing environment. The attitudes of 132
                                            students toward mobile phone and QR code
                                            usage are discussed along with the advantages
                                            and disadvantages surrounding the implemen-
                                            tation of such projects.

                                            The mobile phone
                                            One of the most readily accessible technolo-
                                            gies in the move away from a reliance on the
                                            personal computer is the mobile phone. In
                                            addition to their versatility, and compared
                                            to other handheld devices, mobile phones
                                            are relatively cheap and have become some-
                                            thing of a social norm. This normalization
                                            can be seen within Japan where almost all
                                            university students own a mobile phone. In
                                            a study of 976 Japanese university freshmen,
                                            98% of girls and 94% of boys reported own-
                                            ing a mobile phone (Dias, 2002). Other re-
 Regular Paper                              search suggests that this figure has since in-
                                            creased and is now believed to be very close       15
The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

     to, if not already, 100% (Thornton & Houser, 2005; Susono & Shimomura, 2006). Such an
     increase to almost blanket usage among Japanese university students is symbolic of the
     perceived need for people to be interconnected and accessible regardless of time and loca-
     tion. As Weiser (1991, p. 933) argues: ‘the most profound technologies are those that disap-
     pear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable
     from it.’ The mobile phone has achieved this goal on a societal level with two-thirds of the
     Japanese population being regular mobile phone users (Dias, 2002) and an estimated 1.7
     billion mobile phones in use on the planet (Keegan, 2004).
        Thornton and Houser (2005), in a survey of 333 Japanese university students, found that
     99% of the students sent as many as 200 email messages per week, 66% emailed friends to
     talk about class-related issues and 44% emailed specifically for the purpose of study. In an
     earlier study Thornton and Houser (2001) emailed English vocabulary lessons to the mobile
     phones of 44 Japanese university students and found that 71% of these students preferred
     the lesson on the mobile phone as opposed to the personal computer. In their study, 93%
     of the students reported that the combination of the mobile phone and the vocabulary
     lessons was a valuable teaching method. Elsewhere in Asia mobile phones are playing a
     much wider role within educational contexts. At Sookmyung University in South Korea,
     students can use their mobile phone to confirm class attendance, enter libraries, buy food
     and prove their identity.

     Quick response codes
     The Japanese company Denso-Wave originally invented the QR code in 1994 as a means of
     tracking vehicle parts during the process of manufacturing. Under optimal conditions these
     two-dimensional barcodes can hold up to 7,089 characters of numeric data, 4,296 charac-
     ters of alphanumeric data, 2,953 bytes of binary data, and 1,817 Kanji or Kana (http://www.
     denso-wave.com/qrcode/aboutqr-e.html). Furthermore, they are very resistant to damage
     with high-levels of error correction possible, meaning that they can still function correctly
     when disfigured or marked.

                                                              1. Version Information

                                                              2. Format Information

                                                              3. Data and Error Correction Keys

                                                              4. Required Patterns:

                                                                          4.1. Position

                                                                          4.2. Alignment

                                                                          4.3. Timing

16                                             Figure 1. The structural make-up of a typical QR code
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

    A unique feature of these codes is that their size is relatively flexible and not entirely
dependent on the amount of data stored within the code. The two QR codes shown below
include exactly the same amount of data. They both include the message: ‘It’s back on DVD
Sept 10th.’ The QR code on the left is a poster in central London measuring over 3m × 3m
whereas the figure on the right is a mere 4cm × 4cm. A notable feature of the London poster
is that the URL promoting the product has been omitted from the QR code. This illustrates
that the QR code in the UK as well as within the wider European region holds a novelty fac-
tor due to the relative newness of such a sight combined with the inability of many mobile
phones to scan such a barcode without fee-based additional software.

                                                                  4cm × 4cm

                                                          Both QR codes contain:

                                                          “It’s back on DVD Sept10th”

                        3m × 3m
     Figure 2. The variety of sizing in the design of two QR codes containing the same data

In addition to the flexibility of sizing, QR codes are also very easy to create. There are nu-
merous free web-based generators offering the user a range of simple options (http://www.
viooli.com or http://qrcode.kaywa.com). This simplicity makes them extremely appealing
to those teachers and students who possess little or no technological knowledge. Perhaps,
most attractive, though, is the fact that these QR codes are readable with standard software
preinstalled on almost every Japanese mobile phone which has picture-taking capabilities.
This has been a major factor in the rapid advancement of such technology within Japan
compared to other parts of the world.
   In keeping with the original function of the QR code they are still widely used to give
an object an identity, which allows a person to interact with it through the use of a mo-
bile phone. In addition to giving objects identities the QR code can be used as a means of
transferring information directly to a mobile phone without the reliance on manual input
methods such as email and texting. This is particularly useful when transmitting long URL
information or entering contact information into an address book. Currently, within Japan
the QR code can be found throughout the social landscape: on advertising billboards, prod-
uct information labels, business cards, website URLs and even vending machines.

The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

                         Figure 3. The QR code is used throughout Japan for a variety of functions

     The current popularity of the QR code within Japan and the envy of the struggling
     Semacode1 and Shotcode2 make now an ideal time to utilize its potential within an educa-
     tional environment.
         One of the earliest implementations of the QR code within an educational environment
     within Japan was at an elementary school in Tokyo during 2004. The children at the school
     were taught how to scan QR codes placed on classroom objects by using a mobile phone.
     In addition, the children were required to record a verbal message imagining what the
     object would say if it could speak (Takeyama, 2004). Within the university setting the QR
     code has been employed predominantly in an administrative capacity rather than as a part
     of the classroom pedagogy. Fujimura and Doi (2006) present a project in which students
     give feedback during and after a lecture on their degree of comprehension. The students
     have the option of scanning a QR code of a long URL which takes them to a mobile phone
     database where live feedback on the class during an interval can be given. This feedback
     is stored in a database which is immediately viewable from the teacher’s computer at the
     front of the classroom. The lesson content can then be adjusted based on the intervention
     of the students. In a similar study Sususo and Shimomura (2006) combine mobile phones
     and QR codes to gather formative class assessments. The students are presented with four
     different QR codes each offering a degree of agreement to a set question. The student is
     then able to scan the code which best represents their feelings at any point during a lecture
     with the data again being sent to a database viewable by the lecturer on his/her computer.
         Based on the lack of prior research combing the mobile phone specifically with the QR
     code as a part of the classroom pedagogy, the current project will implement three practical
     QR code activities into six Japanese university EFL classrooms in order to survey students
     regarding their attitudes toward such mobile phone and QR code usage. In addition to be-
     ing consistent with the students’ regular task-based curriculum, the activities selected will
     promote active learning and self-discovery, something which is required if the enhancement
18   of the student learning experience is of interest (Leigh & Spindler, 2004). The author has
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

been experimenting with the use of QR codes at the current institution for approximately
10 months. This experimentation has been primarily in the form of QR code homework
datasheets in which all students are given a datasheet as illustrated in Figure 4. Each data-
sheet contains a number of QR codes which relate to the pictures shown. Within each QR
code there is a question asking the student to react to the picture shown in a number of
ways (interpretation, opinion, reflection). This reaction is then used as the basis of subsequent
classroom discussion and spin-off student-based activities. These early activities were based
on the ideas proposed by Prosser and Trigwell (1999) who argue that engaging students
and making them actively participate rather than being passive listeners has been shown
to increase learning outcomes. The text shown within the figures below is that which is
contained within each of the QR codes.

        Figure 4. An early example of a QR code homework datasheet created by the author

Although no formative assessments have been made, students responded well to these
homework activities prompting the author to consider further widespread implementation
and attitudinal assessment.

Participants and context
The participants for this project were 132 students at an innovative private Japanese uni-
versity. The students were a mix of both freshmen and sophomores taken from six random
classes during the autumn semester of 2008. The university where these students study is
learner centered and strongly promotes learner autonomy and self-access learning both
within the classroom and through a state of the art Self-Access Learning Centre which
provides the students with a rich learning environment. For all of the students within this
study, approximately 50% of their lessons are conducted in Blended Learning Spaces (BLS)
in which each student has their own individual notebook computer and access to other
wireless technologies. As a preliminary question prior to the undertaking of this project,
The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

     all students were asked whether they owned a mobile phone as this was a condition of
     participation in the current research project.

     Table 1: Demographics for the current study including mobile phone ownership
      Class    Subject              N    QR Code Activity Undertaken     Age       MP Ownership
      1+2      Writing              46   Paired Opinion Paragraphing     18+19     100%
      3+4      International Com.   45   Collaborative Mobile Tagging    18+19     100%
      4+5      International Com.   41   Problem Solving Treasure Hunt   19+20     100%


     Paired opinion paragraphing
     The first QR code activity to be implemented was done so within two freshmen writing
     classes and sought to give the students further opportunities to create opinion paragraphs
     based on their interactions with other people and materials. These classes had been study-
     ing paragraph structure and had performed numerous exercises on opinion paragraph
     writing. Firstly, the students were grouped into pairs and selected a random QR code card
     like those shown below in Figure 5. These small cards instructed the students to scan the
     QR code and perform the task which was subsequently displayed on their mobile phone.
     The tasks given fell into two distinct categories: either speaking-based or reading-based. The
     speaking-based tasks focused on themed interactions with specific people in order to ascer-
     tain their beliefs or opinions about a set subject. After interacting with the person(s) the
     students were required to return to the classroom and write an opinion paragraph based on
     their personal feelings about what the target person(s) had said to them. The reading-based
     tasks gave students instructions to find a specific book, magazine or newspaper within the
     university’s Self Access Learning Centre. The instructions included a specific reference to
     either a page number or a paragraph number. The students were then required to read the
     set paragraph, article or title and return to class in order to write about their own viewpoint
     in relation to the material read.

20                       Figure 5. A typical example of a speaking- and reading-based QR code card
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

The above QR code cards feature the following instructions, which appeared on the students’
mobile phones:
   Speaking 1: With your partner go to the ELI Lounge area and start a conversation with
   someone (teacher or student) about world peace. Ask the person how they think world
   peace can be achieved. Write about your own feelings in relation to what the person
   who you spoke to said.

   Reading 1: Please go to the Self-Access Learning Centre and find the book entitled
   Understanding the News in English 3. Look at the story on page 34 and write an opinion
   paragraph either agreeing with or disagreeing with the main theme of the story. Book
   Code – ME/N/10027 (SALC)

Collaborative mobile tagging
The second QR code activity implemented used ‘collaborative mobile tagging’ with two
freshmen international communication classes. This activity aimed to promote collabora-
tive team work and to provide students with an opportunity for authentic, socially framed
communicative interaction outside of the traditional classroom environment. Firstly, the
students were grouped into small groups of four or five students. Each group member was
then assigned a number within the group (S1, S2, S2, S4, S5). Within each group S1 was
given a QR code which they were instructed to scan with their mobile phone. After scan-
ning this QR code the task instructions appeared on their mobile phone. No other group
member was allowed to view this message and S1 had the responsibility of conveying the
information to the other members in the group. Below is an example of one of the first
messages given to S1:
   Go to office 6-207 and find out what the teacher’s favourite food is. If there is nobody in
   this office try a different office. Remember to ask permission to enter the office and ask
   if the teacher can spare a few minutes to talk to you. When you have an answer write
   it down and go to the URL link below to let student number 2 scan the QR code. (Please
   see: http://www.eapstudy.com/2.gif)
All students were then required to proceed together to complete the set task although the
primary responsibility for communication was with S1. After S1 had obtained the desired in-
formation and connected to the link shown a second QR code appeared on the mobile phone
screen of S1. S2 was then required to scan the QR code from the mobile phone of S1 using
his/her mobile phone. This represents the act of collaborative mobile tagging between two
people in order to exchange information and is shown below in figure 6.
   S2 then received their message and a URL link similar to the one shown above. S2 then
repeated the process performing their set task along with the other group members. This
process was repeated until all students had completed an individually assigned task. The
tasks were spread around the university campus so that students could experience differ-
ent surroundings and interactions with different people. Figure 7 shows the basic process
of the collaborative mobile tagging among a group of four students.

The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

                             Figure 6. The act of collaborative mobile tagging between two students

           Figure 7. The task process of collaborative mobile tagging among a group of four students

     Problem-solving treasure hunt
     The final activity implemented was a problem-solving treasure hunt with two sophomore
     classes studying international communication. The aim of this activity was to have the
     students working as a team in order to solve a number of problems presented to them in
22   the form of QR code clues and hints concerning different locations around the university
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

campus. Students were firstly grouped into groups of five or six. Each group was given a
QR code (QR1) which they were instructed to scan with their mobile phone. The responsibil-
ity for scanning this first QR code was decided within each group and the teacher did not
specify a certain person to scan the code.
   As a group, students were required to try and ascertain the location which this first
message was directing them to. When the students thought that they knew the location
they could go there as a group to try and find QR2. If the students had correctly solved the
problem they would find QR2 hanging up on the balcony of a popular student restaurant.
QR2 would then need to be scanned and the subsequent message solved in order to move
on to the next location where QR3 was waiting. In addition to the basic problem solving
nature of the tasks, at the end of each message was a keyword. The keyword was a single
word which students were required to write down after solving each message on a handout
given to them at the start of the activity. In all there were eight different QR code locations
with seven different keywords. If the students located all eight QR codes which were hid-
den around the campus they would have seven keywords. These keywords could then be
rearranged to create a message. The first group to report back to the classroom with the
correct message was deemed to be the winner.

    Figure 8. The scanning of the actual QR codes which the students were required to find

Data collection
After all classes had completed their respective QR code activities the students were given
a seven item survey which attempted to ascertain their attitudes and opinions on the use
of the mobile phone and QR code as part of their EFL learning experience. All questions on
the survey featured a basic yes/no choice as well as an open-ended space where students
were encouraged to elaborate on their answers. The survey was compiled after a review of
the previous research literature and in consideration of the current research project aims.
All responses were then collected and the process of data analysis began. The decision was        23
The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

     taken not to focus specifically on the nature of each QR code task but rather to view the
     responses as a representative whole. This was due to the fact that the current project sought
     to assess the viability of the widespread implementation of QR code activities in general
     rather than the implementation of a single specific QR code activity.

     The survey data gathered from the 132 students is presented below along with the original
     questions used in the survey.

     Table 2: The results from the survey given to the 132 students

      Survey Questions (N=132)                                                         Yes       No
      Q1        Do you take your mobile phone to every class?                          98%       2%

      Q2        Do you ever use your mobile phone to study English?                    44%       56%

      Q3        Do you think using a mobile phone is a good way to study English?      68%       32%

      Q4        Have you ever scanned a QR code to get some information?               83%       17%

      Q5        Did you enjoy using the QR codes in the lesson?                        92%       8%

      Q6        Do you think QR codes can be used to help language learning?           59%       41%

      Q7        Would you like to use QR code activities as part of the curriculum?    52%       48%









                     Q1            Q2            Q3             Q4          Q5        Q6         Q7

                                         Figure 9. The results from the survey given to the 132 students

     Through further analysis of the data it was possible to create a ‘typical student’ response
24 based solely on the frequency of each yes/no answer given in the survey.
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

Table 3: The dominant characteristics of the students in the current study

 % of Responses        Dominant Characteristics
 98%                   I always take my mobile phone to class with me
 92%                   I enjoyed using my mobile phone and QR code in the lesson
 83%                   I have scanned a QR code before to obtain some information
 68%                   I think that using a mobile phone is a good way to study English
 59%                   I think QR codes can be used to help language learning
 56%                   I never use my mobile phone to study English
 52%                   I would like to use QR code activities as a part of the curriculum

In addition to the responses shown above a significant amount of open-ended data was
gathered. This was subject to a keyword analysis and the selection of student comments
which shall be presented within the discussion.

The results presented show that among the current sample of 132 Japanese university
students, mobile phone ownership stood at 100%. This blanket response was also applied
to the specific mobile phones which have the capacity to take pictures and scan QR codes.
This adds support to the research findings of Thornton and Houser (2005) and Susono and
Shimomura (2006) and further highlights that the popularity of the mobile phone with
picture-taking capabilities is very high. Out of the 132 students surveyed, 98% reported
regularly bringing their mobile phones to their classes. This is despite the fact that within
the current research environment the mobile phone was not being actively used for study-
ing English in any of the participants’ language lessons. Outside of the classroom, 44% of
the sample reported that they used their mobile phones to study English. This primarily
took the form of using the dictionary function (21%), emailing friends in English (10%),
accessing EFL websites (9%), vocabulary study (4%), setting the mobile phone default lan-
guage to English (2%) and a host of other unspecified purposes (21%). Although 44%
represents a moderate number of students, 68% believed that the mobile phone was a
good way through which to study English. Within this 68% over 25 students commented
that the mobile phone was a good way to study English because it allows information to
be accessed anytime and anywhere. This large number of specific responses indicates the
growing demand for ubiquitous language learning solutions. Having the option of study-
ing location-free is something which the students reported as being highly desirable. Other
student comments included: ‘I can use the mobile phone easily anywhere’, ‘almost all young
people have a mobile phone’, ‘we can study using the mobile phone with fun. It’s a good
idea,’ ‘I think everyone knows how to use a mobile phone so it is good to use it for study.’
These responses re-emphasize the position of the mobile phone as the only financially and
technologically viable solution which enables students to learn anytime, anywhere. Other
handheld devices such as the iPod (especially the iPod Touch) and the Nintendo DS may
offer the student a more in-depth experience but the costs are significantly higher than the
costs involved in using the mobile phone, as is the learning curve for an inexperienced user.
   Among the 32% of students who did not think that using the mobile phone was a                   25
The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

     good way to study English, the specific reason given varied greatly. As previously found by
     Bryan (2004) students highlighted the fact that the screen size and text size were often too
     small, which had an effect on the students’ vision: ‘the screen is too small to do anything
     worthwhile.’ Other students compared the mobile phone to the PC in terms of information
     available: ‘the mobile phone does not have many websites in English for study so I prefer
     the computer.’ Although such comments are well-documented problems it appears that the
     students also felt as though the mobile phone was something which should be kept out of
     the classroom due to issues associated with privacy: ‘we play with the mobile phone so we
     should study without it.’ Through informal talks with the students who took part in this
     research this was an almost ever-present issue. The fact that the mobile phone had become
     a central part of their social life, containing private data, pictures, videos and contacts led
     many students to state that they did not wish to mix such things with their English lan-
     guage study – especially when working with other students who may have to look at their
     mobile phone’s screen in order to complete a task.
         Focusing on the students’ prior QR code usage, 83% had previously scanned a QR code
     to obtain some kind of information. Most of the information was related to product or
     marketing campaigns with no students indicating that they had used a QR code within an
     educational environment or as a part of their language learning experience. This further
     illustrates that QR codes, despite penetrating Japanese society on many levels, have yet
     to be acknowledged or used within the classroom for the transfer of materials and task
     instructions. Across the sample of 132 students, 92% reported that they enjoyed the activ-
     ity which they performed as a part of this project. 42 students attributed this enjoyment
     to the fact that the use of the QR codes was a new activity,3 35 students attributed this to
     the fact that using the QR codes was interesting and fresh, 13 students attributed this to
     the fact that using the QR codes was exciting and 8 to the fact that using the QR codes felt
     like an adventure game. The 8% who claimed that they did not enjoy the project attributed
     this to the single fact that some of the mobile phones could not scan some of the QR codes.
     This suggests that although mobile phone ownership and QR code scanning capacity were
     found to be at 100% there are still technical issues with either the QR code generator used
     or the specific abilities of different brands of mobile phone.
         Regarding student attitudes toward QR codes and language learning, 59% of the stu-
     dents thought that QR codes could be used to help language learning due to the fact that
     they are fun and easy to use. 41% disagreed with this because some mobile phones could
     not scan each QR code and the information gathered was limited in size. When asked if the
     students would like to use QR codes as a regular part of the curriculum, 52% were in favor
     whilst 48% were against the idea. This split indicates that there are still several issues yet to
     be resolved before students can appreciate and value the usefulness of QR codes within the
     classroom. Reasons given for supporting their implementation again centered on the fact
     that the activities were considered to be fun, unusual, interesting and that they gave the
     students an opportunity to move around the campus whilst learning: ‘It is like a secret code,
     so we must try to break it’, ‘the lessons were very interesting’, ‘sometimes we need fun to
     be motivated.’ Those students against the widespread implementation of QR code activities
     re-stated that not all mobile phones could scan the QR codes and the mobile phone battery
     must always be charged: ‘my mobile phone’s battery disappeared half way through the
     activity so I needed to share my partner’s phone.’ Other students again, touched upon the
     issue of privacy: ‘we must separate private things and our classes.’ Finally, a small number
Rivers: QR codes in Japanese EFL

of students held the opinion that all mobile phones should be turned off in the classroom
as they cannot be used for learning a language.

This investigatory project set out to show how the merger of the mobile phone and the QR
code is considered a productive way forward in achieving a semi-ubiquitous computing
environment. Although this project has demonstrated three task-based instructional ac-
tivities and a strong student interest in the use of the mobile phone and QR code activities
within an EFL classroom a number of issues remain. It appears as though fun and enjoy-
ment are almost guaranteed with such activities; they permit students to break out of the
traditional classroom and to immerse themselves within other social contexts whilst the
mobile phone and messages provided by the QR codes provide a psychological link back to
the teacher with no financial cost to either the student or the school. However, these posi-
tives are often offset against a number of common concerns which were shared across all
six classes within this project. Further research should seek to identify the technical issues
associated with some mobile phones’ inability to scan the QR codes generated by various
web-based generators. A number of students were not able to scan the QR codes used in
this project despite having the barcode scanning function on their mobile phone. Secondly,
the teacher must ensure that the actual content use within the QR codes promotes com-
municative interaction. Due to the limited textual abilities of the QR code it is difficult to
imagine the presentation of complex text-based language learning exercises. Just as the
communicative curriculum aims to provide students with opportunities for authentic lan-
guage exchanges, QR codes must strive to do the same, additionally, students should be
made aware of the primary function of the QR code within the language classroom – that
being to set a task and give instructions rather than provide a complete learning solution.
   This project has also illustrated that students have differing views on the use of mo-
bile phones in the classroom despite their social normalization within Japanese society.
Traditional attitudes toward the mobile phone and learning need to be challenged further
in order to promote behavioural and attitudinal evolution. The teacher is in an ideal posi-
tion to promote the message that the mobile phone can be used as a ‘communicative tool’
for facilitating language learning by providing students with the kind of small scale project
presented in this paper in order to reeducate students on the use of basic technologies in
language learning. Based on the issues discussed in this paper, QR codes do have the po-
tential to be adopted as a part of an EFL learning curriculum although for the students to
accept them as a valid learning facilitator, their level of knowledge concerning the role of
the mobile phone within educational environments must first be developed.

1. The Semacode is the Canadian equivalent of the QR code. It is reportedly much slower
   than the QR code and is catching on slowly through North America in part due to the
   fact that many mobile phone providers offer the scanning capability at an additional cost.
2. The Shotcode was developed at Cambridge University in the UK in 1999. It requires
   the Shotreader software and can only be scanned with selected mobile phones within
3. The reference to ‘new activity’ is considered to be referring to the use of the QR code.      27
The jalt   call Journal 2009: Regular Papers

           The actual tasks which were presented to the students had been undertaken during the
           previous semester without the QR code as a task-conveying medium and without the
           mobile phone as a facilitator of the task.

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     Author biodata
     Damian J. Rivers is a lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies and a PhD
     candidate researching ethnolinguistic group affiliation and L2 learner motivation within
     Japan. His research interests revolve around issues associated with task-based language
     teaching, the promotion of monolingual classroom language environments and the adop-
     tion of technology within the classroom .

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